East Meadow Muslim Group Charges Bias in Building Controversy

December 26, 2005

Source: Newsday


On December 26, 2005 Newsday reported, "A Muslim group that was denied a variance to build a mosque on a busy East Meadow road is claiming anti-Muslim prejudice. The Hempstead Board of Appeals denied the application by the Long Island Muslim Society, on the grounds that a new mosque would compromise public safety on the already congested two-lane road. Members of the society were taken aback by the decision, saying they had already dramatically downsized their plans over the last four years to address the concerns. Calling the 5-to-2 decision 'a big disappointment,' president Mohammed Saleh said he fears traffic and parking concerns were being used to cloak a more fundamental hostility. 'We know there was tremendous pressure from the community not to grant us the variance and we have a strong feeling that some prejudice was involved,' Saleh said, citing emotionally charged community meetings in which anti-Muslim sentiment was expressed."